Gilani leaves lodges’ issue to NA speaker, MPs


ISLAMABAD – Disappointed with Leader of the Opposition Nisar Ali Khan’s move to scandalise the issue of construction of parliamentary lodges for political point-scoring, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has decided to lave the matter to parliament and the National Assembly speaker.
“The prime minister will speak on this issue in the National Assembly today to explain why this projected had been undertaken,” a source close to the prime minister told Pakistan Today. He said that Gilani would also clear his position, saying the contract had not been given to any of his friends.
The source said the project was approved by the ECNEC in 2010 and all the provinces including the Punjab had approved it in the meeting. “The prime minister has taken it seriously that the opposition leader has tried to create another controversy by implicating him without any proof and also made his letter public even before Gilani had received it,” the source said.
He said the opposition leader was playing to the galleries only for political point-scoring. “This is the NA speaker’s project and the prime minister inaugurated it because Dr Fehmida Mirza was abroad,” he said, adding that the prime minister would throw the ball in the courts of the speaker and parliament to take whatever decision they wished in this regard.
A source in the NA’s Secretariat said this project was undertaken because with the increase in the number of NA and Senate seats, a large number of parliamentarians were not being provided official residence and a large amount was being paid for their residences in rent.
“This is a regular expenditure,” the source said, adding that with the construction of a new block of lodges, the government will save a large amount of money,” he said.